If you’re planning to make pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, don’t waste any time getting out and buying your canned pumpkins. That’s because too much rain in June led to a 50 percent decline in the amount of sugar pumpkins harvested in Illinois.
Sugar pumpkins are more oval in shape than those used for Halloween decorations. They tend to be very dense with thick walls. As MAA reported in its Sept. 1 issue, Illinois is a major producer of pumpkins, with the state producing 90 percent of the nation’s sugar pumpkins. But those late season rains has the folks at Libby’s – who owns 80 percent of the canned pumpkin market and processes all the pumpkin it buys at its plant near Morton, Ill., -- worried that after Thanksgiving, there might not be any canned pumpkin left on the shelves.
The sugar pumpkin harvest ended last week – several weeks early. And Roz O’Hearn, a spokeswoman with Libby’s, said that once the current canned pumpkin supply runs out, there won’t be any more until next year’s harvest. “We should make it through Thanksgiving,” she said.
Ornamental pumpkins, which are mostly hollow and have thin, stringy walls, weren’t adversely affected by the rain in Illinois.